Saturday, December 16, 2017

History Detectives Needed

   Nearly everyone today carries a cell phone and our lives rely on instantaneous calls, social media, and the internet.  It wasn’t like that a century ago when the old ‘crank wood wall telephones’ were the only means of calling the doctor or the fire department.  Many Lawrence County citizens have been associated with the local telephone companies and manufacturers (like Suttle) for decades.   

  We are eager to gather information, news articles, advertising, and hopefully many pictures of operators, buildings, and outside plant of the telephone business throughout the county.    We need names of telephone operators and employees from the past, locations and names of switchboard exchanges, and telephone directories 1900 – 1960.  Many older records are needed.  We will scan, photograph, and record information to accumulate the memories for our area. 
Steve Shearer, retired telephone man, is willing to compile all data made available to preserve this portion of our county history.   Information, queries, or questions can be sent to him at

Let’s see if we can provide him access to everything we have on the subject.  Personal interviews are desirable.  “Remember it takes a lot of small pieces of a puzzle gathered together to create the final picture.”

Friday, December 15, 2017

Early Oil Well Scene

Early Oil Well Scene near Lawenceville Ill.

A model of a oil field was donated it to the History Center and it requires some additional tender loving restoration. If you interested in winter project, it might only take a few hours to glue/hammer  some balsa wood strips back into place and identify some parts so labels could be made.  Talk to L Curry, N King or D Burton at the History Center if you are interested.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Bridgeport Postal Service 1949

Undated newspaper clipping probably from the Bridgeport leader 1949

Boyce – Cooper Named Carriers for City Mail
George Boyce and George Cooper have been given the positions of carriers on the city mail delivery in Bridgeport that is to start Tuesday, January 3, according to an announcement by Postmaster Fred H. Stoltz. Mr. Boyce and Mr. Cooper will start the service and in all probability will qualify for the appointment it was stated.

Mr. Cooper takes route No. 1which is all of the city east of Main Street and Judy Avenue. Mr. Boyce takes route No. 2 which is all west of Main and Judy. Also Mr. Boyce will deliver the parcel post following the completion of his route at the noon hour. Both men are veterans of WWII.
Postal inspector J. J. Sherer inspected the routes with both carriers Tuesday and reports that many of the houses are without numbers. The street signs are to be erected and up by the start of the service.

The concrete posts have been erected for the mail collection service. There are nine collection boxes with three collection box and relay units combined to give 12 spots where mail will be collected. Mr. Stoltz states that there is supposed to be a collection box within three boxes of every home in the city where collection will be made at least twice daily except on Saturday and Sunday.

Postage for all letters in Bridgeport will be three cents after Tuesday, it was stated. Greeting cards, sick, get well, etc. unsealed will go for two cents. Birth announcements and other letters that have writing other than name are to carry the three cents stamp, it was explained.

The local post office increased their December business better than $800 over a year ago while the two preceding months saw little change over the 1948 reports.

There's still time to buy the newest Lawrence Lore publication for Holiday giving.  Lawrence Lore Vol 3 is a continuation of the two previous publications of blog articles with more photos and enchanced information.  You may purchase the book at Finishing Touch, the Research Library, or the History Center as well as on line. If you don't want to give it to someone, tell your spouse you want a copy to read in the recliner.....

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

1962 Sumner Basketball Team

In 1962 the Arabs from Sumner High School  were District Champions for the first time in 35 years and advanced to the semi-finals in the Regional before being beaten out by Olney. 
Top Photo: Row 1: David Brian, Dean Tabor, George Sivert, Bill Perrott, Tom Cochran, Larry Piper
Row II Larry Davis, Manager; Mr Pinkstaff, Jack Atkins, Jerry Piper, Dwight Piper,
Winston Howard, Eldon Gaither, manager
Bottom Photo: B Squad: Row 1; Winston Howard, Dwight Piper, Jack Atkins, Randy Terrell, Dick Tabor, Dennis Pool
Row II: Eldon Gaither, manager; Larry Davis, manager; Larry Hopper, David Reed, Rex Moan, Robert Hobbs, Jerry Piper, Robert Ulrich, Kenny Lancaster, Larry Ferguson, Paul Baltzell, Mr. Pinkstaff
Top Photo:  L to R: Varsity Norreta Hodge, Leona Brian, Carol Blood, Carolyn Meadows, Diana Jones
Middle Photo: Freshman and Sophomore cheerleaders:  Frances Pepple, Sharon Gray, Sandra Hodge
Bottom Photo: Grade School Cheerleaders Row I: Mary Hanratty, Connie Cessna
Row II: Susan Forsythe
Row III: Connie Stout, Sharon Hopper

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Arabs Basketball Teams

1946-47 Arabs

Sumner 1952 Basketball Cheerleaders
Top photo: Bette Jones, Alice Vogel, Vonda Harbaugh
Middle photo: Freshman Phyllis Piper, Ann White, Karen Stout
Bottom Photo: Grade School Bernice Piper, Janet Piper, Joan Clark and Romell Houser

Sumner 1952 Basketball Teams
Top Photo: 1st Row Jimmie Fisher, Howard Kedeker, Wendall Messenger, Don Petty and Tom Perrrott,
2nd row: Mr. Miller, Bob Pinkstaff, Terry Poole, John Kruko, Johnny Weiss, Jerry Poole, and Tom Fausnacht
Middle Photo: Second Team: Don Doser, Philip Clark, Frank Bartram, Terry Poole, Bernard Goodwin, John Groves, Don Scaggs, Bob Pinkstaff and Mr. Miller
Bottom Photo:  Grade School Team First Row: David Pool, Danny McVickar, Charles Fiscus, Jim Miller, Kenneth Jones, Charles Fiscus, and Harry Darnall
Second Row: Mr. Miller, Leo Deimel, Larry Miller, Elden Mitchell, 
Ronnie Stollen, Fred Madden, Charles Ash and Robert Jones. 

The Sumner High School team of 1948-1949 posted a fine record and turned out one of the finest ball players in Sumner’s history, Jack Piper.  He set a scoring record of 443 points which remained unbroken until 1959-1960. That team produced two fine ballplayers, Jerry Atkins and Gary Everette.  They both eclipsed Piper’s scoring mark of 443 points by scoring 508 and 495 respectively. That year the team won their first Conference title in history with a 12-2 Conference records.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sumner High School Arabs

According to the history of the Arabs, written in the 1962 yearbook, the Sumner High School sports teams known as the Arabs, received their name in 1910.  In that year Sumner was only a three year high school, but they did have a basketball team.  They were in no conference but rather played teams in Southern Illinois and Indiana. Because this part of Illinois was called “Little Egypt” and because the team roamed Little Egypt playing different teams, they became known as the Arabs because of the similarity between their  nomadic team and the Arab tribes that roamed the deserts of Egypt.
1911 SHS Arabs Basketball Team

1911 Cheerleaders
In 1911 the Arabs were the undisputed champions of the Southeastern Illinois,
winning 17 of 18 ballgames, the loss being to St. Francisville in one of the four games with the Saints that year.  They also played 8 games in Indiana winning 2 of them.  Considering that there were 6 boys on the team and only 11 boys in the high school, this is quite an accomplishment. The next memorable Arab team was the Arabs of ’27. The team won the District and kept winning until they were defeated by a tough East St Louis team.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Hudson Grocery Stores

G. Griesemer brought this picture in last year. Gary’s wife, D. Hudson Griesemer, is a granddaughter of Lyle Hudson (1902 to 1968). To the right of Lyle Hudson, pictured on the left of the four store workers in aprons are two unidentified clerks, then the mother of Lyle Hudson, then James F. “Bud” Spencer (1918 to 1991). Bud Spencer was a nephew of Lyle’s wife, Lena Bell Rogers.

What is interesting about this picture is all of the advertising for the product Milnut– So Rich It Whips. “Milnut” was renamed “Milnot” in 1939 after the US Supreme Court ruling of 25 April 1938 that Milnut violated the “Filled Milk Act” of 1923 that prohibited a product such as Milnut that added coconut oil to skimmed milk. Anyway this picture can be dated as having been taken about 1938 - 1939 because of the Milnut advertisements hanging in the store. Lyle Hudson appears to be about 36 and Bud Spencer appears to be about 20. The store  building is now the Lawrenceville Senior Citizen Center, 1705 S. 12th St. 

John King provided more research.  The older lady clerk in the 1938-1939 Hudson Grocery Story picture on 12th Street is ALICE HUDSON (1883-1958), mother of Lyle Hudson.  In the 1920 Census, car salesman Ed E. Hudson, his wife Alice, and son Lisle lived in Lawrenceville.  By 1930, Edward E. & Alice Hudson had a retail grocery store at 1011 State Street, in downtown Lawrenceville - see the Lawrence Lore Blog of Monday, Feb'y 16th, 2015, with Alice being pictured in front of the Hudson Grocery Store.  In 1940, E.E. Hudson and his wife Alice were living next door to their son Lyle Hudson and his family, on 12th Street.  Lyle Hudson's occupation was listed as a retail grocer.  Lena Bell (Rogers) Hudson's nephew, James F Spencer Jr., was living in their household as a lodger.  Lyle and Lena Bell had a son Walter E., who died in the late 1950s.  He was the father of D. Griesemer.  D’s widowed mother, Rose, married Red Dorney.

Then the time line for the two HUDSON GROCERY stores in Lawrenceville became a bit tighter.  The store on State Street has been dated to 1915 according to the following article.  The 2nd article then dates the store on South 12th Street to at least 1930.

Vincennes Commercial April 30, 1915.
The Sheid Furniture Company, of Vincennes, who have conducted a branch business in the new Fitch building on State Street in Lawrenceville for the past several months, will close the store on Thursday and move the goods to Vincennes. The local manager B. F. Pemberton, will also move to Vincennes for the present. The business room here has been leased by E. E. Hudson, who will stock it with groceries and conduct an uptown business as Hudson Grocery No.2.

In the Vincennes Commercial December 19, 1930 an article was published stating that the Hudson Grocery on S. 12th St. was entered sometime Wednesday night and relieved of about $15 worth of groceries. It is believed that the burglary was committed by a person or persons who were suffering from hunger.